Gun Trafficking Client Sentenced to "Time Served" - Federal Court

VA, a 28-year-old cook, was convicted of brokering* a series of illegal gun deals between two gun suppliers and a gun purchaser. One sale involved an automatic high-powered rifle. Unfortunately for VA, the gun buyer was a government cooperator. The buyer wore a small camera on his person during each deal which captured the action. The footage plainly showed VA "middling" the deals. VA knew that the evidence was overwhelming. He eventually decided to plead guilty. The major problem for VA was his sentencing exposure - his colorful criminal history and the number of firearms involved in the deals put him in a position where he faced a realistic prison sentence of about a decade.

VA was incarcerated during the pendency of the case.

Attorney Fasoldt believed that if VA could wait out a significant period of time in jail that he could eventually convince the prosecutor to make a plea offer that would cap VA's sentencing exposure at 5 years. Attorney Fasoldt thought the plan would work because he knew of a second government cooperator who would provide information that would mitigate VA's culpability. Specifically, Attorney Fasoldt knew that the second cooperator would tell the agents and the prosecutor that VA was somewhat coerced into middling the gun deals. This would corroborate what Attorney Fasoldt had shared with the prosecutor, but by having the information come from a cooperator it added strength and validity to the claim. VA agreed to the plan, though not without some pushback and discomfort. Fortunately, VA's decision to go along with the plan paid off. After 3 years, the government agreed to a plea with a potential sentence of no more than five (5) years.

At sentencing, Attorney Fasoldt asked for a "time served" sentence. "Time-served" means that the judge imposes a prison sentence in an amount of time that equals the time that the client has already spent in jail. In this case, time served equalled 3 years. The government asked for 5 years. The judge adopted Attorney Fasoldt's sentencing recommendation. VA is now a free man.

  • The client pleaded guilty to "Engaging the Business of Dealing Firearms Without a License" under 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(1)(A). As part of the plea agreement, two other more serious gun charges were dismissed.